Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Favorite Mexican Casserole

My sister and I were chatting the other night on the phone.  Our conversation often turns to food because...well, we're cooking a lot...as well as the rest of the mommys!  Sometimes it's so hard to figure out what to cook.   Anyway, this recipe is one in our church cookbook and all but one of my children love it (although if your young children don't like spicy this might now be the best choice).  I don't think it's for everyone (esp. if you don't like lots of things mixed together), but I like the fact that it uses minimal meat and has lots of great veges and beans in it...and it is very flexible to whatever you may have on hand.  You can also make it ahead.  It's also flexible with little kids because you can work on getting the filling prepared a little bit at a time.So here it is, Esther.

Casserole

1 1/2 c. crushed tortilla chips
1 lb. shredded, cooked chicken meat (I have used ground beef and shredded turkey too)
1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained
1 (15-oz.) can kidney beans drained (I have often used just one or the other type if I didn't have both)
1 (15-oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained (I usually use frozen corn)
1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
1 c. prepared salsa
1 c. chopped red onion (I've used yellow onions quite regularly, but I think red would be great!)
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro leaves (I usually omit this because I don't have it on hand)
1 T. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. each, salt and freshly ground black pepper, or to taste (I go easy on the pepper..prob. 1/4 tsp)
6 oz. grated Monterey Jack Cheese
6 oz. grated sharp Cheddar cheese (I normally use grated mild cheddar because it's what I have)

Garnishes

2 c. ripe tomatoes, diced
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. fresh cilantro leaves  (I usually serve salsa and sour cream)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 13 x 9-in. baking dish, then scatter crushed tortilla chips evenly on the bottom.  Combine the chicken, beans, corn, tomato sauce, salsa, onion, bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, salt andepepper in a bowl.  Place half the mixture evenly in the baking dish.  Combine the cheese, then sprinkle half over the chicken mixture.  Cover with the remaining half of the chicken mixture and sprinkle remaining cheese over the top.  (I sprinkle the top with extra crushed tortilla chips and then sprinkle with cheese).  Bake for 30 minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.  Serve with garnishes in bowls, so guests can top their portions with diced tomatoes, sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro.  Serves 8.

Esther, when you make this this week, maybe you could take a picture so I can post it! :)  Thanks.

3 comments:

Esther said...

Thank you for helping me out. I'll take a picture for you. Love you.

Kami said...

How yummy! Sounds really great to me :)

Serena H said...

This sounds really good. I've been needing a good recipe to use beans. I'm going to try this next week when the kids get back home.